Unfolding the drivers for sentiments generated by Airbnb Experiences

Sérgio Moro, Paulo Rita, Joaquim Esmerado, Cristina Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Airbnb Experiences is a new type of service launched by Airbnb in November 2016, where users can offer travellers a wide range of activities. This study devotes attention to analysing customer feedback expressed in online reviews published in Airbnb to evaluate those experiences. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 1,110 reviews were collected from 12 categories, including 111 experiences, resulting in 10 reviews per experience. First, the sentiment score was computed based on the text of the reviews. Second, 17 quantitative features encompassing user, Airbnb experience and review information were used to model the score through a support vector machine. Third, a sensitivity analysis was performed to extract knowledge on the most relevant features influencing the sentiment score. Findings: Tourists writing online reviews are not only influenced by their tourist experience but also by their own online experience with the booking and online review platform. The number of reviews made by the user accounted for more than 20 per cent of relevance, while users with more reviews tended to grant more positive reviews. Originality/value: Current literature is enhanced with a conceptual model grounded on existing studies that assess tourist satisfaction with tour services. Both services online visibility and user characteristics have shown significant importance to tourist satisfaction, adding to the existing body of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-442
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Airbnb
  • Data mining
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Tourist experience


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